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In Toledo, Ohio, a device that resembles a small animal cage on pontoons with floating sausage links on either side is trapping trash on a creek that flows to Lake Erie.
In Toronto, Ont., floating garbage cans called Seabins are vacuuming up plastic bottles, cigarette butts, wrappers and other junk at marinas along Lake Ontario.
In Clayton, N.Y., fancy netted baskets called LittaTraps are catching garbage inside village storm sewers that drain runoff into the St. Lawrence River.
In each case, the devices were installed within the last couple years to reduce the amount of plastic waste reaching the Great Lakes, which are receiving an estimated 22 million pounds (10,000 metric tons) of plastic debris annually from the U.S. and Canada.